Kids of differing species go eyeball to eyeball in Etosha.
Sit safely and comfortably beside a waterhole and watch the action unfold. Here the giraffes want a drink but are intimidated by the elephant. Alternatively drive yourself wild on safari in wildlife packed Etosha
Experienced travelers agree that the richness and diversity of Namibia’s tourist offerings make it one of the top exotic holiday spots in the world, if not the best.
We at bugbog rank Namibia alongside Peru and Myanmar/Burma in our top three most colourful, interesting and fun vacations ever.
Primary targets are the fantastically wildlife-rich Etosha National Park, the staggeringly huge and beautifully pink dunes at Sossusvlei, the massed horizon to horizon yellow dunes of the Namib Desert and its cute oasis towns such as Swakopmund, the bleak, seal-stuffed shores of the Skeleton, ancient rock carvings in Damaraland and Fish River Canyon hikes.
In addition the prices are reasonable, the weather is sunny, tourists are relatively few, the pictures are unbeatable and safety concerns not too bad, though drivers should take special care!
The magnificent Sossusvlei dunes, the world’s biggest accessible sand pile! Dune 45 in Sossusvlei National Park, pictured, is one of the smaller but shapelier piles, probably around 160m high. The dune opposite 45 is 360m high.
***Etosha National Park. As far as number of wildlife you can see, this may be Africa’s greatest game park. More
***Namib Desert, a sensational sea of rolling dunes, with activities galore. More
***Sossusvlei. Totally mind-bending 400m high pink dunes. More
***Swakopmund, on the coast, is a pretty, relaxed town in old German style, with plenty of activities on offer. More
**Skeleton Coast, bleak, blasted and eery with salt roads, seals and sand forever make this worth a look-see. More
**Twyfelfontein/Damaraland provides high quality 2, 000 year old San rock art and spectacular scenery. More
*Caprivi, a narrow strip of scenic riverland sandwiched between Angola, Zambia and Botswana, with four excellent but rarely visited game parks and various fishing and river-adventure facilities. An ideal stopover for overland explorers to/from Botswana and Zimbabwe, it’s a 3 hour drive to Victoria Falls from Katima.
*Opuwo area, the Kaokoland is home to the Himba tribe people who still wear red ochre body-paint and traditional dress. Himba settlements can be visited with a guide; do this with sensitivity but do not expect culture without payment.
*Kalahari desert near Mariental, not quite as exciting as it sounds, but provides good hiking and bird watching opportunities, as well as photogenic quivertrees near Keetmanshoop.
**Luderitz, a bizarre Bavarian (German) village stuck on a barren coast, it’s a long drive south but the endless beach supports seals, penguins, flamingoes and ostriches.
Fish River Canyon
***Fish River Canyon, the world’s second largest after America’s Grand Canyon, attracts keen hikers.
Hobas, at the north end, is the best starting point with masses of camp sites, stunning viewpoints and good short walks. A challenging, spectacular 85 km four-day trail is one of Africa’s toughest, but a fitness test is required to get permission! Reward yourself at *Ai-Ais hot springs resort afterwards.
**Orange River, on the border with South Africa is a terrific rafting spot.
Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, has a good climate but is a charmless hodgepodge of car-dominated, modern mall culture, leavened with a frisson of potential muggery. You may have no choice so ***Joe’s Beer House is a superb place to pass some time.
Best: May-October (winter, up to 25C daytime, down to 0C possible at night)
Worst: Nov- March (excessive heat 35C+. Some rain – though not much – makes wildlife watching more difficult as they are not so dependent on waterholes). South African school holidays as well as Namibian ones can stuff up accommodation. African school holidays: Most of May, late August – early September, early December to about 20 January.